EveryBlock Debuts in Portland, Ore.

msnbc.com-owned local news provider EveryBlock now has micro-local sites in 16 cities following its launch in Portland, Ore., Thursday.

The launch came about as the result of an Open Data Initiative by the city’s Bureau of Technology Services, which enabled EveryBlock to work with city agencies to collect, analyze, and organize raw data.

The site’s “Notify Your Neighbors” feature allows users to comment and post announcements about their neighborhoods, including sharing eyewitness news reports, starting discussions about neighborhood-focused issues, or alerting neighbors about missing pets or garage sales. Posted announcements are published to nearby EveryBlock users, who can then post comments or ask additional questions.

Besides Portland, EveryBlock is available in Atlanta; Boston; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Dallas; Detroit; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; Philadelphia; San Francisco; San Jose, Calif.; Seattle; and Washington, D.C. msnbc.com acquired EveryBlock in August.

EveryBlock general manager Adrian Holovaty said:

People who live and work in Portland said they wanted EveryBlock in their city, and we’re thrilled to launch here. The beauty of EveryBlock is that residents can get a lot of frequently updated information about their neighborhoods, all in one place.

And manager of business development Dan O’Neil added:

Portland is a great example of a city government opening up data that allows developers to display it in ways that make sense to residents. We can help local governments plan initiatives and open the data for all to use, and we have the ability to quickly launch robust news sites anywhere open data standards exist.